Enhancing and strengthening the flavor goes both ways for wine and food. There is a rumor however, that it's not so easy to pair those two together and there a lots of rules to ensure the successful match. So lets get into those rules:
Rules #1 states that there are no rules when you try to pair your favorite recipes and wines together. You may have heard or read some "famous" matches, however it always comes to personal choice and preference on which wine to witch food to match. There are few hints and tips that should help you determine what pleases your palate.
Light vs. heavy. First you should determine whether your food is heavy, like steak with mashed potatoes, or light, like chicken and stir-fried vegetables. In general most people prefer red wine with heartier foods and more delicate white wine with lighter fare. However these are generalizations and everyone should experiment with their own combination and should choose the most favorable to their own taste. To make it easier to remember you might think about it like that: red wines enhance red meats and white whines goes well with white meats.
Flavor interactions. Next you should consider flavor interactions. Your tongue enables you to detect four distinct flavors: bitter, sweet, salty and sour. Wine can contradict and compliment food selections, so keep in mind when you begin pairing those two together. For example, sweet wine could make a bag of salty crisps taste even more appealing, however same wine paired with sweet cheesecake could loose it's taste in flavor due to the sweetness of cheesecake.
Other factors to consider. One of those factors would be foods acidity. For example lemon-based sauce goes well with wines that share an acidic undertone. Sweeter foods, like apple salad, works great with wines that are just a bit drier then a dish itself.
Hopefully you found these tips useful and will use them as you try to pair your favorite recipes with wines. Always remember to take a note of pairings you've enjoyed for future reference.
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